The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - 'Report of the Survey Operations in the Naga Hills 1875-1876' by Lt. R.G. Woodthorpe

caption: to Semamantin; provisioning; dangers of tattooing; treatment of stomach ache
medium: tours
ethnicgroup: Hatigoria
location: Longmisa (Semamantin) Sangratsu (Solachu)
date: 18.2.1876-19.2.1876
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1875-1876
text: 31. On the 18th, Colonel Tulloch, with the camp, started direct for Solachu. Taking a few coolies with empty rice-bags, I went round by Semamantin, a large Hatigoria village of about 300 houses. We were hospitably received, and rice, fowls, beer, etc., were brought out in profusion. Leaving a head-constable to collect and pay for the rice, I went out to the other side of the village to work. The burning of yesterday had cleared the spur of the long grass and shrub jungle, and I was able to get in a great deal more detail than would have been the case otherwise. Returning to the village, I was requested to visit a poor little girl about ten years old, whose legs had been tattooed a few days before: the operation had resulted in mortification of the limbs. I went into the house, where the poor little thing - sad votary of fashion! - was lying on a bed screaming with pain. The sores were dreadful, both legs apparently rotting away below the knee. I could no nothing for her, beyond telling her parents to wash the sores (which apparently had not been touched), and promising some carbolic acid wash if they would send a man to camp with me for it, which, however, they did not do, contenting themselves with asking me if she would die. I was then taken to see the wife of the headman, who was suffering from an unaccountable pain in her stomach. I gave her a little brandy, which she was very loth to take at first, but, having once tasted it, suspicion gave way to satisfaction, and she asked me to leave a large supply with her, as she feared the pain would not be removed speedily. On the way to Solachu, at the top of a stiff ascent, I was overtaken by the headman of Boralangi, who said he was exhausted. As I had halted for breakfast, I gave him the leg of a fowl, and it was amusing to see this "Rajah", as some frontier officers would call him, squatting on the ground with one of my Khasias, each holding one end of the leg, from which they took alternate bites. I reached Solachu about 3 p.m., but a heavy thunderstorm prevented my observing, and obliged us to halt the next day for that purpose.